I have the privilege of leading our teen ministry at my church. We have been working on what I believe to be the most important aspect of our Christian faith: The Power of God’s Word. In our many small groups, we have focused on searching scripture and having discussions around specific verses that speak to our hearts and why they do. We are exploring how God’s Truth can transform us, inspire us, grow us, and most importantly strengthen our faith.
As I think about all of our youth today entrenched in this world, attempting to navigate their way through so many changes and options and people that cross their paths, I am disheartened at the invariable mess they must muddle through, in order to build a strong identity in Christ. I am passionate about teaching them how to cling to God, despite the currents that pull them away. The forces are against them, in building a foundation that permeates God’s goodness and grace. How on earth will our pre-teens and teens develop their virtue and values with a God-perspective? These days more than ever before, our youth walk on futile ground with fires of volatile risk and floods of distorted rebellion from perspectives that are far from Christian principles.
While I have this handful of vulnerable kids in my care, I must do what I can to arm them with the weapons to fight against those choices and guide them toward decisions that are both honorable and worthy of God… and themselves. What do we have that is tangible and practical and powerful enough to fight in the battle that ensues during these formidable years?
I think back on my teen years, full of turmoil and angst and so many mistakes made. I hold shame and regret from those lost years. I didn’t have God’s Word as my guide. I was ill-equipped to fight the good fight. I was ignorant and naive, wandering aimlessly amidst the tides that swelled and pulled me farther out into the deep waters that were far from Divine. I faltered on my own, and surrendered to the world because I was vulnerable to the throws of those dramatic and tumultuous years. And as I fumbled through some agonizing turns, I barely survived. I see this happening to innocent victims everywhere, torn by the rip tides that have a tenacious force of pressure presented to them in this day of brokenness and palpable currents.
I simply cannot imagine life today, as a teen…in this culture. Can you?
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.
People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful,
proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal,
not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited,
lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—
having a form of godliness but denying its power.
Have nothing to do with such people.
2 Timothy 3:3-5
So in our own teen ministry, our small but mighty mission will be to equip our soldiers in the war, as we rally through worship and train our youth with biblical knowledge. We discover together that God is true to His Word, and His word has Power to edify us and guide us through trials and tests. And as they go forth, trying so hard to makes sense of who they are and what they will stand for in this vast and visceral world…
What we can place in their hearts will surely fortify them to cling closer to their Omnipotent God.
This is my prayer and my hope.
We have sense made tie dye t-shirts, and each teen will embark on choosing one specific verse that will ultimately be his or her “go to verse”. The chosen scripture will be written on their own shirts, representing what captivates their hearts and draws them closer to God. A verse that speaks truth in the very places they so desperately need to be inspired and it will embody the true foundation of how they live out their life.
As a parent, I also want to teach my own children about the power of God’s Word in our lives and in our hearts. As my daughter continues to build her identity and struggle in areas of comparison and beauty and talents she does or doesn’t have… her ‘go to verse’ has always been:
“I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
I have seen this verse gradually become the foundation in her character. Through these powerful words, she continues to discover God’s unique creation in her, and I pray that as she enters each season of her life…
She will have this truth rooted in her heart forever.
As parents, we are all ministry leaders. Our calling is to direct our children towards God’s Truth. And as they become increasingly saturated in how the world defines their worth, we must fight through the misperceptions and misleading battleground of this world’s distorted messages, with His Handbook that will ultimately win the war.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful
for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…
2 Timothy 3:16
By Chris Carter
Wife to Derek
Mom of two
SAHM (Stay at Home Mom)
1 Corinthains 13 Parenting Team Member
Blogger at The Mom Cafe